Daily Fantasy Golf Preview: The Open Championship

Cheat Sheet/Report Card

I have added another worksheet to the weekly cheat sheet that is essentially the same thing, but it is condensed in such a way that it should be easier to read and interpret.

The Course

  • Royal Portrush Golf Club (Dunluce Links)
  • Portrush, Northern Ireland
  • Par 71
  • 7,344 yards
    • Hosted the Open back in 1951 (no course history)
    • Originally designed by Old Tom Morris, redone by Harry Colt in the 1930’s with two holes added most recently by Martin Ebert
    • In the last decade they have redone tee boxes, greens, and bunkers
    • Winding and hilly, links-style course on the northern coast of Ireland
    • Very few bunkers for an Open Championship but there are mounds, sand hills, long rough, and out-of-bounds areas found throughout the course
    • The fairways are somewhat normal in width but outside of them is a fair amount of mounds and tall grass — you might see a lot of irons off of the tee to keep it in the fairway, it’s easy to lose balls in this rough
    • They will try to have the greens as fast and firm as the conditions will allow but they won’t be too quick
    • Weather looks to be in the 60’s with a chance of rain each day and some wind, wind can be a major factor

Key Stats

  • SG: approaching-the-green
  • Driving distance
    • Driving accuracy
  • Birdie or better
  • Scrambling

The Field

We’ll have a full 156 man field this week but with all of the random qualifiers there are about 40 golfers who have virtually no chance of winning. I’m seeing just under 50 guys between 500/1 and 1,000/1 odds to win this week so be careful when taking some of these lower priced players in such a loaded field.

Strategy

For my dark horses this week I made it a priority to highlight some lesser known European Tour players who have peaked my interest. There are guys down there like Kevin Na, Charley Hoffman, Ryan Palmer, and Lucas Glover who I also have some confidence in but most people that play DFS golf will already know these names and they could have slightly higher ownership as a result.

Big Dogs ($9,000 and up on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Justin Rose ($9,900 DK – $11,600 FD) – we haven’t seen Rose since the U.S. Open but he finished T3 there and was really starting to turn his game around since switching clubs. He also has plenty of success at the Open Championship where he has made each of his last five cuts including two top 10’s (T2 last year) and two other top 25’s. I’m not worried about his time off so much and for my Cash lineups this week I want to keep it relatively balanced so that I can have cut makers and win equity with all six golfers.
    • Xander Schauffele ($9,500 DK – $11,000 FD) – another guy that finished T3 at the U.S. Open with Rose was Xander Schauffele (prior to that they both finished inside the top 15 at the Memorial). He also has taken some time off since then but his prowess in big tournaments will help me forgive that this week. Xander has played twice in the Open and he finished 20th in 2017 and 2nd in 2018. As safe as he seems, I could see both him and Rose being highly owned this week (as well as the next guy).
    • Patrick Cantlay ($9,000 DK – $10,800 FD) – Cantlay hasn’t finished worse than 21st in his last six starts on Tour and last year at the Open, his only time playing the event, he finished T12. The four guys priced above him (Molinari, Fowler, Dechambeau, and Justin Thomas) have all been fairly inconsistent as of late so within the low $9,000’s Cantlay could easily end up being the most popular pick — if not the most popular pick in the entire field.

Risky (GPP)

    • Rory McIlroy ($11,600 DK – $12,000 FD) – Rory is the favorite to win this week — he’s had ten top 10’s this year and his last four times playing the Open have all been top 5 finishes including his win in 2014. He’s the top priced golfer this week and should be a no-brainer when it comes to the first player you pick when starting your lineups… and that’s why I think he could become a fade this week. If he appears to be too obvious of a favorite pick then many people might think to go contrarion up here. I could definitely be wrong, but either way he has been so good this season and in this tournament that I am willing to eat the chalk regardless of his ownership.
    • Jon Rahm ($10,600 DK – $11,300 FD) – Jon Rahm has proven to be one of the best links-style players on Tour and is coming off of a 3rd place finish at the U.S. Open, 2nd at the Andalucia Masters (hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation), and a win at the Irish Open in his last three events. His best finish in the Open through three tries has been a 44th place finish so the narrative is floating around that he can’t win this tournament. I hope people buy into that narrative, that would mean I’m getting a big discount with Rahm in terms of ownership.
    • Bryson Dechambeau ($9,200 DK – $10,600 FD) – another guy who has struggled in this tournament is Bryson Dechambeau. He’s only played the Open in 2017 and 2018 but he missed the cut by a wide margin his first year and finished 51st last year. In the three prior majors this year, his best finish has been a 29th place at the Masters so I’m hoping this will help to keep his popularity down because he’s coming off of back-to-back top 10’s and could be peaking at the right time.

Value ($7,300 – $8,900 on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Adam Scott ($8,800 DK – $10,500 FD) – Adam Scott is to the Value category what Rory McIlroy is to the Big Dog category this week, but I don’t foresee many people fading him at this lower price tag. He’s made five straight cuts and all of those have been finishes inside of the top 20 (that’s including the three majors this year). Scott has also made the cut every single year at the Open since 2010 with four top 10’s and his worst finish in that time has been a T41. He could be an incredibly smart fade, albeit risky fade, in GPP’s if he becomes the highest owned golfer on the slate.
    • Paul Casey ($8,300 DK – $9,900 FD) – it was a tough decision between Casey and Woodland here but with Gary missing the cut after his win at the U.S. Open, I have the feeling that he has taken his foot off the gas following his first major championship victory. Casey did WD back in May at the Charles Schwab but it looks like his back has healed up because since then he has a T21 at the U.S. Open and a T5 in the Travelers. He has a total of eleven top 25’s this season and plenty of experience in the Open so for $8,300 he is the ideal candidate for a balanced lineup.
    • Webb Simpson ($7,600 DK – $9,400 FD) – Webb has made 14 out of 15 cuts since this time last year and he’s made four straight cuts at the Open Championship, improving each of the last four years (40th, 39th, 37th, and 12th). He’s consistently been one of the best golfers on Tour at avoiding bogeys, so for only $7,600 Webb seems like one of the safest cheap plays you will find.

Risky (GPP)

    • Jason Day ($8,600 DK – $10,400 FD) – Day has only cracked the top 10 once in his last six events and his short game, which is usually his bread and butter, has taken a dip this season. He’s 91st in SG: around-the-green, 112th in scrambling, 52nd in one putt percentage, and 64th in three putt avoidance. I’m hoping this will turn people off of him because his three finishes in the majors this year have all been 23rd or better and he’s eight for eight in made cuts at the Open since 2010 so there is a good chance he’ll be ready to play this week.
    • Shane Lowry ($7,900 DK – $9,800 FD) – Lowry has missed four straight cuts at the Open so that right there might take him completely off of the radar for many people this week. But before that he was three for three at the Open with a top 10 in 2014. Shane is also playing some sneaky good golf at the moment with a 34th at the Irish Open, 28th at the U.S. Open, 2nd at the Canadian Open (apparently he likes playing events that end in “Open”), and an 8th at the PGA Championship.
    • Hao-Tong Li ($7,300 DK – $9,000 FD) – Hao-tong has played the Open twice and he finished outright 3rd in 2017 and T39 in 2018. He did miss the cut last week at the Scottish Open but before that he finished 15th at the Irish Open. He’s made the cut at all three majors this year and always seems to be a sleeper pick for a top 10 finish, so the odds are good for Li to have another strong finish in this year’s Open Championship.

Sleepers ($7,200 and under on DK)

Solid (Cash)

    • Bernd Wiesberger ($7,100 DK – $9,600 FD) -now that we’ve gone a little deeper we will start to see some of the European Tour players who are somewhat lesser known. In a span of less than two months Bernd has two wins and a runner-up finish on the European Tour. He won in a playoff just last week at the Scottish Open and finished 2nd the week prior at the Irish Open. He hasn’t been great at the Open Championship but is in excellent form so for only $7,100 Bernd will more than likely be a popular pick this week.
    • Erik Van Rooyen ($7,100 DK – $8,600 FD) –  I’ve written a decent amount about Van Rooyen so far this year and he hasn’t disappointed. In the PGA Championship back in May he finished 8th, and then from the Canadian Open to the U.S. Open he finished 20th and 43rd. He missed the cut at the Irish Open two weeks ago but after that he finished 14th at the Scottish Open and looks primed to compete in the Open Championship (where he finished 17th last year).
    • Mike Lorenzo-Vera ($7,000 DK – $8,300 FD) – back in early May at the Volvo China Open, Lorenzo-Vera finished 5th then later on that month came to America and finished 16th in the PGA Championship. He has now made three consecutive cuts finishing 2nd at the Andalucia Masters, 9th at the Irish Open, and 28th at the Scottish Open. Mike is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing and untalked about sleepers this week.
    • Thomas Pieters ($7,000 DK – $8,700 FD) – Pieters has made three consecutive cuts at the Open Championship and is coming off of a 20th place finish at last week’s Scottish Open. He did miss a couple of cuts before that but had a string of three finishes at 33rd or better surrounding the PGA Championship (where he finished 23rd). He tends to run a little bit hot and is always liable to snap a club but at $7,000 Pieters might be one of the safer picks down in this range.

Risky (GPP)

    • Chez Reavie ($7,100 DK – $9,100 FD) – after finishing 3rd and 1st in back-to-back weeks at the U.S. Open and Travelers, Chez went on to miss the cut in his only event since… the Rocket Mortgage. He’s 0/2 in cuts at the Open dating back to 2012 so many people might not have faith in him at this event. But Chez is 1st in driving accuracy and 5th in proximity this year so I think he is a better fit for this tournament than some might believe, especially if the wind picks up.
    • Byeong Hun An ($7,000 DK – $8,800 FD) – Ben An is only 27 years old but has quietly played in this event six different times since 2010 and has made the cut in half of those tournaments. Three out of his last four events have been finishes of 17th or better so he has great form coming into an event where he should feel comfortable and on top of that he is the 9th best player this season in SG: tee-to-green.
    • Billy Horschel ($6,900 DK – $8,200 FD) – in his career Billy Ho has missed four out of five cuts at the Open Championship with a lone T30 in 2015. It’s fair to assume that’s why he is priced so low, but he is coming off of seven straight made cuts (including three at the majors this year) and four of those seven were finishes inside of the top 25. It might not be a bad idea to roll the dice on a guy with the hot hand even though his course/event history isn’t the most impressive (which may help keep his ownership down anyways).

Dark Horses

Risky (GPP)

    • Robert MacIntyre ($6,700 DK – $7,000 FD) – the 22 year old Scot is relatively new on the European Tour but has already made some waves. He missed the cut last week at the Scottish Open and finished 41st the week before at the Irish Open so he might have lost some people’s attention but at the Betfred Masters back in May he finished 2nd and just two weeks after that at the Made in Denmark he finished 2nd again.
    • Romain Langasque ($6,600 DK – $7,000 FD) – right behind MacIntyre at the Made in Denmark was Romain Langasque who shot -11 which was good enough for outright 3rd. He narrowly missed the cut at the Irish Open but after that he shot -20 to finish in 3rd, yet again, at the Scottish Open. Romain even made the cut at the 2015 Open after gaining entry due to his win at that year’s Amatuer Championship.
    • Paul Waring ($6,600 DK – $7,000 FD) – Waring turned professional back in 2007 and didn’t find his first and only win until his 200th event but he is playing some good golf at the moment. At the Betfred Masters he finished 6th and after that at the Made in Denmark he went on to finish 18th. At the Andalucia Masters Waring missed the cut but since then he finished 7th at the Irish Open and 48th at the Scottish Open.
    • Andrea Pavan ($6,600 DK – $7,000 FD) – Pavan turned pro in 2010 and bounced around until his first European Tour win last season. He secured his second victory after beating Matthew Fitzpatrick in a playoff roughly a month ago at the BMW International Open. Pavan also has recent finishes of 15th at the Betfred Masters, 25th at the Made in Denmark, and 4th last week at the Scottish Open.

 

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Mark Lee

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Detroit sports fan, also sufferer of seasonal depression (the two might be related). Avid golfer and former college baseball player. Would've been in the league if it weren't for my lack of ability. Accountant by day, fantasy sports guru by night.